I Was A Teenage Exocolonist: The Card Challenge System, Explained

Quick Links

  • How To Win Card Challenges
  • Card Types
  • Card Orders That Will Increase Your Hand's Value
  • Gear And Collectibles
  • Cards With Effects
  • Special Challenge Conditions
  • Additional Options

Life presents many challenges, even hundreds of years into the future. You'll encounter various tasks in I Was A Teenage Exocolonist. These obstacles range from singing in a talent show to fighting off an alien species on your new home planet, Vertumna IV.

In Teenage Exocolonist, card challenges occur whenever you perform a work or school activity from month to month. Completing these challenges awards skill improvements and kudos you can spend at various stores. Here's a rundown of how these challenges work.

How To Win Card Challenges

The card challenges are straightforward. First, you must arrange your cards in an order that equals or surpasses the goal value. Your skills will always increase when working or going to school. However, you'll receive extra skill points if you win a challenge. Furthermore, you'll get a kudos bonus for arranging the best possible hand.

So, how do you increase the value of your hand? Order matters significantly. Arranging cards in pairs, flushes, and straights is one way to gain extra points. Additionally, some cards have extra perks that give advantages or disadvantages depending on their position. Lastly, equipped gear grants challenge bonuses, and collectibles can get consumed for one-time bonuses.

Anytime you work or go to school, your character's stress increases. They cannot pursue a card challenge once their stress reaches one hundred. But, if you have stress to spare, you can apply it to a challenge when your hand's value falls short of the goal. This option, called pushing through, should get used discriminately.

Winning card challenges is not a requirement in I Was A Teenage Exocolonist. Unfortunately, the cards you draw will sometimes never meet the challenge goal. In these cases, it is okay to give up: you will still receive skill points and kudos for doing your best.

Story challenges are the same as everyday card challenges but last three rounds. However, you can only play three cards in the first round, four in the second round, and five in the third and final round. Any cards you don't use will remain in your drawn hand. Each round works toward a cumulative challenge goal.

Sometimes, you can arrange a hand that dramatically exceeds the challenge goal. This instance, called a super goal, grants additional skill points and kudos for completion.

Card Types

There are several card types in I Was A Teenage Exocolonist. Understanding their purpose is key to building the best hand for any challenge. Your basic suits are red (physical), yellow (social), and blue (mental) cards. However, you'll get introduced to gem cards and wild cards further in the game.

Card TypeExampleTraits
PhysicalPhysical cards are red with a flexed arm symbol. These cards work best in physical challenges and get earned by completing physical activities or interacting with physically skilled friends like Anemone, Dys, or Cal.
SocialSocial cards are yellow with a speech bubble symbol. These cards work best in social challenges and get earned by completing social activities or interacting with socially skilled friends like Marz and Tammy.
MentalMental cards are blue with a brain symbol. These cards work best in mental challenges and get earned by completing mental activities or interacting with mentally skilled friends like Tangent.
GemGem cards come in any suit. But, they contain a gem icon in the lower left-hand corner. In addition, many gem cards interact with each other, adding bonuses and other perks. So, it's best to include them in your hand when possible.
WildWild cards, as the name implies, read as any suit. Placing them next to any card creates a flush.

Card Orders That Will Increase Your Hand's Value

We'll emphasize this again: order matters. Three orders, in particular, are the building blocks to create a high-value hand. Furthermore, these terms share similarities with many other card games, like Gin Rummy or Poker. So, there's a strong chance you're already familiar with them.

Card OrderDefinitionExample
FlushA flush is when two cards of the same color get placed next to each other.A flush of three red cards gains an additional three points.
PairA pair is when two or more cards of the same number value get placed next to each other.A pair of two zero-point cards gains an additional point.
StraightA straight is when at least three cards get placed next to each other in ascending value from left to right (i.e., one, two, three, four, etc.). A straight can include cards of the same or different suits. Note: Straights cannot form in descending order (i.e., four, three, two, one).Five cards, arranged in order from zero to five, form a straight that gains ten bonus points.

Gear And Collectibles

In addition to your memory cards, you can access other tools during a card challenge.

  • Gear is like armor. You can use it unlimited times, and its effects last as long as you keep it equipped. For example, the Super Hero Cape gives you thirty additional Bravery skill points and a 2x multiplier for straights. Skill points added with gear do not count toward skill perks.
  • Collectibles are similar to consumable items. They grant all sorts of bonuses and effects to your hand, but only for one-time use. For example, Mushwood adds two points to a card. Plus, you can gift collectibles to friends to improve your relationship with them.

There are various ways you can gain gear and collectibles. First, you can buy both these cards from the Supply Depot with kudos earned from activities. Second, you can earn both items by completing special events and activities. Lastly, you can find collectibles throughout the colony or foraging past the wall.

Cards With Effects

Some cards grant special effects to themselves or the cards around them. For instance, Anemone's Loyalty increases any physical card in play below two points to two.

Unfortunately, other cards have adverse effects. For example, Telling A Violent Tale subtracts two points from any neighboring social cards in play. However, this card yields a hefty five points.

As evidenced by our examples, how you place these unique cards yields game-changing consequences. Therefore, we recommend developing strategies for how to use these cards when drawn.

Special Challenge Conditions

As you age, card challenges will include special conditions. These conditions include card bonuses, obstacles, new goals, and more. Here are some examples of what you may encounter.

  • Bonuses: You're playing a mental challenge, and all blue cards played in your hand get an additional point.
  • Obstacles: A random card gets locked into your hand. You cannot remove it or change its position.
  • New Goals: You'll gain additional kudos if you meet the goal exactly.

As you can see, special conditions add a new level of difficulty and strategic finesse to card challenges. Therefore, it would be best if you adapted when these situations arise. Unfortunately, sometimes, a tried and true strategy will fall apart when confronted with a new condition. Luckily, working within the confines of these conditions can shift their effects to your advantage.

Additional Options

While card challenges are a part of I Was A Teenage Exocolonist's overall experience, they are not the primary focus. In many ways, with its branching paths and gripping storylines, the game veers closer to a visual novel experience than an RPG. In turn, you may feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed with its gameplay. Luckily, there are two options to adjust the game to your liking.

Suppose the card challenges are becoming too easy for you. In this case, you can enable Harder Card Challenges in the General Settings menu.

Conversely, suppose you wish to focus on the story. In this case, you can turn on Skip Card Challenges in the same menu. Enabling this option condenses challenges to a coin flip with results based on your character's current age and skills.

These settings can get changed at any time during your playthrough.

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